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Written byShaun McGowan
Fit-Out Finance in Australia is a type of business finance used to refurbish businesses and franchises. The amount you can borrow will vary from lender to lender with an average of around $300,000. Fit-out loans can be applied for online with specialist finance lenders, and terms will vary as well, sometimes up to five years.
Shopping around for the right loan can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees.
Fit-out finance covers loans used for refurbishment, relocation, and redevelopment of businesses in Australia. Fit-out loans are used by a variety of businesses to finance everything from electrical work to signage, furniture, and HVAC systems.
Fit-Out Finance can be used for almost any business refurbishment, and is utilised by a wide range of businesses and franchises in Australia — those offering products to customers (such as retail) and services (such as medical facilities) to provide a welcoming and inviting space for staff and customers alike.
It can be used for both major and minor refurbishments — it is commonly used to completely revitalise existing spaces, rebrand following a change of ownership, or upgrade existing fit-outs following periods of significant business growth.
Depending on the type of business, borrowers can access up to 100 per cent of the fit-out cost for their new or existing business or franchise.
Apply for shop fit-out finance and get the funds you need to completely refurbish and set up your new shop or retail store, including display cabinets and clothing racks, front-of-house and sales counters, changing rooms, and much more.
Use restaurant fit-out finance to fund everything you need for your new cafe or restaurant. You can use a restaurant fit-out loan to purchase kitchen and front-of-house equipment, and even use it to decorate your space with artwork and dining tables.
Fit-Out Finance is commonly used by individuals buying a franchise. Franchises are commonly refurbished every 5 - 10 years, and it is equally uncommon that the franchisor will assist in funding this process.
New owners of an existing franchise will often wish to rebrand or purchase new equipment — this can incur costs for signage, upgraded staff facilities and more. You can read more about this in our guide on purchasing an existing, established business or franchise.
New office fit-out finance is ideal for gaining the necessary funding to completely set up your new office space. If you are planning to time your relocation with an update to your business branding, you can use funds to create branded signage, break-out rooms or meeting areas with internal walls.
In Australia, medical professionals are often able to access fit-out finance by using their medical practice as equity — this prevents needing to provide residential property as security.
In general, most medical professionals that meet these criteria will need to be certified by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and can borrow up to 100 per cent of the fit-out costs required.
While doctors — including GPs and specialists — can meet the approval criteria without a minimum time in practice, all other medical professionals will need to have been in their profession for a minimum of three years.
Lenders will also request that you provide a minimum financial history of one year to approve applications greater than $500,000.
Qualifying for a fit-out loan is relatively simple. Most lenders will be able to offer you fit-out finance options if you have:
While most lenders will prefer you have been actively trading for a minimum of 9 - 12 months, you can still apply and get approved for fit-out finance if you have been trading for less than 9 months.
Fit-out finance falls under the same application process as other types of equipment finance. You’ll qualify for fast approval using a streamlined application process if you are applying for finance up to a total value of $100,000 and you:
If you fall outside the above criteria, or are wishing to apply for a fit-out loan greater than $100,000, the application process will be much the same albeit longer and requiring a greater amount of supporting documentation to gain approval.
Before applying for fit-out finance, you’ll want to research lenders and get a firm understanding of the required documentation. Although some types of documentation will remain consistent between lenders — such as proof of identity — the depth of others may vary.
For example, some lenders may require financial records of a specific historical length, while others may request a business plan to support your application.
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Most lenders will be able to consider your application for fit-out finance if you have been trading for a minimum of 9 months, have an Australian Business Number, and are registered for GST.
Fit-Out Finance amounts will vary between lenders, and will generally be assessed in relation to your level of risk as a borrower. Specialist lenders will offer loans from $5,000 up to $500,000.
Fit-Out Finance applications will require you to supply proof of identity, financial records provided by your accountant, and details of the assets or fittings you wish to purchase — they may additionally require a business plan to support your application.
Fit-Out Finance can be used for all types of office, warehouse, and store refurbishments. This includes electrical work, office furniture, security systems, EFTPOS facilities, and much more.
Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.